Exposé Online banner

Ataraxia — Adolescence of an Ancient Warrior
(Made in Japan MJC-1003, 1986/1994, CD)

by Mike Ohman, Published 1995-07-01

Adolescence of an Ancient Warrior Cover art

Ataraxia were one of the more obscure of the original Made in Japan labelmates, back when they were still affiliated with the now-defunct Edison label. The band made one album in the mid-80s and nothing else, ever. It's now reissued and given much wider release than the original pressing. The music may be described as neo-prog, but don't let that scare you away, it's actually quite good. I'd describe the band as Genesis-influenced but, unlike many other such bands, original. The band sport a lavishly symphonic two-keyboard sound, mostly digital but some analog. The guitarist plays solidly in the Hackett mould, thick with sustain. Some drawbacks are notable, though. First of all, the trebly mix makes the drums difficult to listen to. It's not that the drummer is bad, he's actually quite talented, it's just that the snare is much too highly mixed, and cracks stridently every time it's hit. I've noticed this tendency on other albums by Japanese bands. Secondly, it's bad enough that they chose to write lyrics in English, but they never should have printed the lyrics in the booklet so the listener can actually see how poor their English is. Would you believe (from "Gabble") "What a tasty sock you have"? It doesn't help that the vocalist can barely speak English. He also seems to be straining to reach some high notes at times, but one is inclined to believe he wouldn't be having such troubles had he been singing in Japanese. While their music doesn't reveal anything new or unexpected, Ataraxia operate well within the symphonic genre. Their sound is comparable perhaps to stablemates Outer Limits (who are thanked in the credits), though without the violin and not consistently as good. A lot will find this album very enjoyable. And with its reissue one can't help but wonder, can Rosalia's Zillion Tears be far behind?


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 7, 1994 releases, 1986 recordings

Related artist(s): Ataraxia

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Holy Modal Rounders - Bird Song - Live 1971 – Sometime in 1971, the Holy Modal Rounders, having recently expanded to a seven-piece, visited WLIR and recorded a set of songs, including their contribution to the Easy Rider soundtrack (“Bird...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues